The U.S. economy is stuck in a malaise.
2015's annual growth rate is expected to be a mere 2 percent to 2.5 percent —about the same as the 2.2 percent average rate at which the economy has puttered since the recession's end in mid-2009. This lackluster pace has created the lowest labor force participation rate in four decades, stagnant wages, and high long-term unemployment. Considering that 1 percent to 2 percent growth is needed just to keep up with population growth and to absorb the annual influx of graduates in the workforce, a 2 percent growth rate feels like we are just treading water.
The U.S. has many tools at its disposal to accelerate growth to a level on par with the dynamism experienced over our storied history. But government policy is stifling progress. To help shift the economy out of neutral and into high gear, here are three steps Washington could take: